Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Food for Thought: The case for toaster ovens

It's crowded in Nancy's kitchen but there's always room for one more appliance. The new toaster oven is the one on top.

“Stein,” Nancy Leson said. “You need a toaster oven.”  I continue to maintain that I don't need no stinkin' toaster oven, but I must admit she makes a pretty good case.


Nance has had one for the past 10 years, but when the Costco Connection hired her to write an articleon all the capabilities of today's modern miracle toaster ovens she abandoned Old Faithful for a new one.


Of her old model she says: “We only used it for toasting, re-heating and keeping plates warm.” But this new model has become her favorite appliance. “This thing has multiple racks, multi-use pans, it toasts, it roasts, bakes, broils. There are even ones that will air-fry your French fries, rotisserie your chicken, dehydrate your tomatoes, defrost your casseroles —"

“— Rotate your tires,” I interjected, because I could.


We agree that a toaster oven's main virtue is that you don't have to waste the energy required to heat up a full-size oven to bake a couple of potatoes or whatever. Nancy says she uses it several times every day. One of her recent toaster-oven'd favorites is this parchment-wrapped halibut.

Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX
Halibut in parchment made in toaster oven.

My last feeble excuse for not having one was lack of counter space, but Nance says they come in all sizes. I guess I could get rid of my present toaster, the subject of a Food for Thought two years ago — I still get a kick out of one listener's huffy screed in the comments — which I don't like, anyway and replace it with some small T.O.

The first thing Nancy did with her new toaster oven was bake a small batch of World Peace Cookies. “They came out perfectly and I didn't have to preheat the oven or anything." I say that any excuse to eat cookies is a good one and world peace is better than most.


“I have a greater appreciation for kitchen appliances, having played one.” – Anthony (C-3PO) Daniels

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.